Schedule 8

Part of Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:30 am on 22 November 2007.

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Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice 9:30, 22 November 2007

My hon. Friend has anticipated me; I was just coming on to secure children’s homes, which are, of course, under local authority control rather than that of the Youth Justice Board. They are not provided primarily for criminal justice purposes; they are provided for welfare purposes in the main. There is already statutory guidance, “Working Together to Safeguard Children”, and the local safeguarding children board has a responsibility, with the local authority that places children, to make sure that the children’s welfare is looked after. Complaint and investigation arrangements are in place, including and up to serious case reviews if things go very wrong.

We do not at present accept that secure children’s homes should be included in the provisions, because they exist for a different purpose and have a panoply of arrangements that link the responsibility of the local authority in placing children in the homes for welfare reasons with the investigation of complaints on matters up to and including death.